Online shopping venture closes after Publicis shuts off funding

NEW YORK - Honeyshed, a 'QVC meets MTV' online shopping business funded by Publicis Groupe, Droga5 and production company Smuggler, is closing down after Publicis declined to invest more money.

Honeyshed was conceived by Dave Droga, the founder of Droga5, as a way to attract 18- to 35-year-olds to online shopping by showcasing products using quirky host-presented online video clips which advertisers would pay for.

According to US reports, Publicis has put around $25m into the venture since its inception in mid-2007, but has decided to close off further funding due to economic pressures.

Steve Greifer, the chief executive of Honeyshed, said the company would stop operations immediately and the site would come down this week or next.

The closure will lead to the loss of ten full-time jobs.

Honeyshed officially launched just three months ago after spending around a year in beta mode.

According to ComScore figures, it drew 117,000 visitors in December 2008 but a lower number in January 2009.

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